Quartz Compositions

Quartz and its APIs are graphics technologies at the core of the Apple Mac OS and iOS platforms. Quartz Composer is a graphical authoring and programming environment that can still be added to the developer tools that Apple makes available. The following sketches represent experiments with Quartz Composer, some of them related to other projects of mine. Apple gave developers and users access to Quartz technologies through QuickTime, but such support was dropped in the Mojave 10.14 version of OS X and even earlier from the QuickTime Player when it became QuickTime Player X. Now the only feasible way to play Quartz compositions them is under a version of the Mac's OS X up to and including Mojave, using QuickTime Player 7, which is still downloadable here (as of Summer 2020). This version of the player does run under Mojave but ceased to be supported after Catalina, 10.15.

If you do have an installed and working version of QuickTime Player 7, you can File → Open URL... and type in or copy & paste the URLs that are supplied for each sketch. Switch to Full Screen for viewing. You can of course use the same URLs to download the compositions themselves. The compositions may then be viewed and edited in Quartz Composer, and may even be installed as screen savers for Macs, up to OS X 10.13 High Sierra.

Monoclonal Microphone


Open URL... "http://programmatology.shadoof.net/works/quartz/monoclonal.qtz"
More information on Monoclonal Microphone.


The following compositions all came out of work and research for lens, ultimately realized as a transactive QuickTime movie and a piece for Brown University's immersive stereo 3D environment, a Cave and, later, Yurt. More information here.



Open URL... "http://programmatology.shadoof.net/works/quartz/threshold.qtz"
The Most satisfying, from my own perspective, application of Quartz technologies to the ideas underlying lens. But deliberately not transactive (let alone interactive). Works well as a screen saver.



Open URL... "http://programmatology.shadoof.net/works/quartz/icon.qtz"
Early attempt with the text of the piece in its two parts. The pointer moves the 'lensing' text; up and down arrow keys scale this text and will take the reader from one phase or state to the other.

Icon trackball


Open URL... "http://programmatology.shadoof.net/works/quartz/iconTrackball.qtz"
Experiment with successive words as 'lensing' text. The trackball moves whatever has been chosen as the lensing word.

Icon word


Open URL... "http://programmatology.shadoof.net/works/quartz/iconWord.qtz"
Another experiment with successive words as 'lensing' text. The pointer moves whatever has been chosen as the lensing word.



Open URL... "http://programmatology.shadoof.net/works/quartz/lens.qtz"
First attempt to realize the 'lensing' effect using Quartz composer. The pointer moves the word 'lens' in relation to the word 'text'.

Four Words


Open URL... "http://programmatology.shadoof.net/works/quartz/fourwordsNew.qtz"
A very simple composition made for a musical and poetic event by Giles Perring, based on affective four word phrases collected from participants in the environment.